BMW 5 Series Touring: the perfect family estate

The BMW 5 Series Touring is a car that is spacious, classy and refined.


In a world of SUVs and crossovers, it's easy to forget the more conventional estate, says Kyle Fortune in AutoExpress. But the BMW 5 Series Touring reminds us "there's life in the wagon yet". This latest version has a bigger boot than its predecessors, and one that can lug more weight. There's a maximum of 1,700 litres of space with the rear seats folded (570 with them up) and the load limit is up to 750kg. That's not as big as the Mercedes E-Class Estate, but the Touring has always been "the load-lugger of choice for keen drivers".

The 520d model, the "mainstay of the range", is brisk, says Fortune: the 0-62mph dash takes just 7.8 seconds, and you're "rarely left wanting for speed" on the motorway. On country roads, it "exhibits the agility we've come to expect" from the 5 Series, with sharp handling and "nicely direct" steering. The engine's economical, too, giving 62.7mpg on official figures and emitting just 114g/km of carbon dioxide. That gives it a competitive 24% tax rating for company car drivers. This "could well be the perfect family car".

It might look a bit dull, but it's a "solidly excellent" car, says Richard Bremner in The Daily Telegraph. It is "library quiet" to drive and the "richly finished" interior is well equipped with high-tech features, including BMW's iDrive infotainment system, a lane-keeping assistant that nudges a drifting car back into line, and an "excellent head-up display" that projects key information onto the windscreen. The engine in the 520d "pulls with smooth conviction", but the six-cylinder 530d is "decisively swifter" and delivers the sporting drive you'd expect of a BMW. It's a "mighty impressive" car.

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Even the entry-level SE model comes with luxuries such as sat-nav, leather seats, xenon headlights and climate control, says What Car. "It's our favourite large estate: classy, spacious, refined and well-equipped."

Price: £38,385 (for the 520d Touring SE model)Engine: 2.0-litre, four-cylinder dieselPower: 187bhp at 4,000rpmTorque: 295 lb ft at 1,750rpmTop speed: 139mph0-62mph: 7.8 seconds

Stuart Watkins

Stuart graduated from the University of Leeds with an honours degree in biochemistry and molecular biology, and from Bath Spa University College with a postgraduate diploma in creative writing. 

He started his career in journalism working on newspapers and magazines for the medical profession before joining MoneyWeek shortly after its first issue appeared in November 2000. He has worked for the magazine ever since, and is now the comment editor. 

He has long had an interest in political economy and philosophy and writes occasional think pieces on this theme for the magazine, as well as a weekly round up of the best blogs in finance. 

His work has appeared in The Lancet and The Idler and in numerous other small-press and online publications.